Dieter Dudy said he would bring a measured approach to the mayor’s office, trust city staff and prioritize long-term needs of a growing community.
Dudy, whose Thistle Farms kiosk at the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market has been busy with election conversations this year, said he is running for mayor because he wants to put his mark on the city.
“I think that we need to get back to having a vision for the city,” Dudy told KTW. “Which means, where do we want to be 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now? And, so, what do we do now to make sure those things are going to be in place?”
Dudy said Kamloops has new problems and demands as it grows, including a lack of professionals, such as doctors. He said amenities — a performing-arts centre, a cultural centre and a public market — are needed to attract professionals and also benefit residents. He said such amenities are catalysts for development, densification, businesses and vibrancy.
Dudy said a performing-arts centre is at the top of the city’s list, but also cited the need for more ice sheets. He said it cannot all be done at once, but also noted the cost of building increases with time. While Kamloops residents received a five per cent property tax increase this year, Dudy said taxation is not the only source of capital funding as he pointed to debt off the city’s books.
As for why someone should vote for him, Dudy said he is the well-rounded choice for mayor and provides a “measured” approach. Dudy is not someone who gets fired up often around the council horseshoe. He said he sees no point in speaking on issues already spoken to and does not speak for the cameras. He said his passion is “effective and seamless governance,” adding council should address community needs without compromising staff.
“So I’m outcome driven,” he said. “And I don’t care how they [staff] go about doing it. You come back to us after we’ve said, ‘This is the direction we want you to go, this is the final outcome that we want to see.’ You come back, tell us how you plan on doing that, what it’s going to cost us and the amount of time it’s going to take to get there. If we’re unhappy with that, we’ll come back to you and say, ‘Nah, it’s not going to cut it.’”
Dudy has the backing of Henry Pejril, who has worked on campaigns for Terry Lake, Ken Christian and Peter Milobar.
Dudy is a self-described centrist and told KTW he has his eyes set on two terms as mayor, if successful, before retiring from politics at age 75. He said he does not intend to run for MLA or MP.
Dudy said he looks up to former German chancellor Angela Merkel for standing firm when making unpopular decisions in the interest of the country.
He said Ken Christian has been a good administrative mayor, describing him as someone who coloured inside the lines and kept the city safe.
“But I also love a person that’s got a lot of vision, and things like that, and sees beyond what we have today and what’s coming tomorrow,” Dudy said.
“I guess a mix of the two. If I could find someone like that, was able to convey both accountability and dreams — that would be a wonderful leader.”